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Ban Rak Thai

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Formerly a notorious KMT (Kuomintang) army post named Mae Aw, the border village of Ban Rak Thai has reinvented itself as a kind of mini Mae Salong.

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Think fluffy tourist destination, where tea and temperate fruits have replaced opium and day tripper-filled minibuses rolling up to tea tasting shops replace mule trains guided by drug-funded private armies. Visitors, (especially mainland Chinese), now visit to sample the local brews, preserved fruit and eat in cafes serving purported Yunnanese specialities.

A scenic lakeside setting. Photo taken in or around Ban Rak Thai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand by Mark Ord.

A scenic lakeside setting. Photo: Mark Ord

Residents are predominantly descendants of the Republican Chinese soldiers that sought refuge here after defeat by Mao’s forces, though very few veterans remain these days. Ban Rak Thai is also home to various other groups who fled Burma in former times including Lahu, Pa-O and even Wa as well as Shan families. The casual visitor would be hard pushed to tell the difference though, and most families in the village are involved in producing and selling tea, dried fruit and refreshments for ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)


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Popular attractions in Mae Hong Son

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Mae Hong Son.



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A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Mae Hong Son.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Mae Hong Son.
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